Chennai: In a major set back for Tamil Nadu's AIADMK government led by J. Jayalalithaa, the Madras High Court Monday ordered implementation of a uniform system of school education for Classes 1 to 10 from the current academic year.
In a much-awaited judgment, the first bench of Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice Sivagnanam struck down the amendments made by the Jayalalithaa government to defer implementation of the Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School Education Act that ushered in a uniform school syllabus for the students of matriculation and state board students.
The uniform syllabus was brought in by the earlier DMK government.
The court directed the Tamil Nadu government to implement the uniform syllabus from the current academic year onwards and distribute the relevant text books to the schools by July 22.
The court also ordered the government to set up a panel of experts in three months to remove the discrepancies and inadequacies in the new syllabus.
Reacting to the judgment, Advocate General Navaneetha Krishnan said the government would appeal in the apex court and seek a stay of the high court order.
Last month, the high court stayed the amendment to the Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School Education Act that deferred its implementation.
Citing the Rs.200 crore spent on printing text books, the court said the government can revise the syllabus.
On an appeal by the state government against the high court order, the Supreme Court last month said that in the event of a change in government, the interest of students must be kept in mind by the new dispensation while reversing any earlier decision on an academic issue.
The apex court also directed the Tamil Nadu government to set up an expert panel to study the syllabus and make recommendations.
The expert panel set up by the Tamil Nadu government July 6 told the high court that the syllabus needs lot of changes and cannot be used in the current academic year.
The high court has been hearing the case on a daily basis since then and delivered its verdict Monday.
Meanwhile, the state secretary of Communist Party of India (CPI) D. Pandian citing the absence of any critical comments about the state government in the judgement urged the state government not to go on appeal.